My Friend Marcel

Annie's dad has moved around a lot, and she has never been really able to make many friends. Finally her dad gets a steady job in a tiny town outside Cheshire, named Holmes Chapel. When Annie starts a new school year at Holmes Chapel Public High School, she meets a nerdy boy named Marcel Styles. As she gets to know him better, she realizes that he's not the geek everyone thinks he is. Annie gets Marcel to open up and become himself, and they become fast friends. But soon, Marcel finds himself falling for his friend...what will happen when her biggest secret is revealed? Will Marcel still like her? Or will this secret tear Annie and him apart...forever?

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3. Lunch with Marcel

“Hey! Hey, over here!” Marcel waved his arms in the air and I walked over with my lunch. “Hey.” He said more quietly, gesturing to the seats at the table. “A whole table to ourselves. When did I get so lucky?” he joked. I smiled, and sat down. “So, you know my name, but I don’t know yours. Are you new?”

“Yes, I just transferred here last week from Doncaster. I’m Annie.” I shook his hand.

“That’s cool. Why did you transfer?” Marcel pushed his glasses up his nose.

“Just had some problems.” I avoid his gaze. He seems to sense that there was something bothering me about that, so he dropped the subject. I wince as I pull out the lunch my nana had packed for me. Salami sandwich, an apple, and…raw carrots? I pushed my food away in disgust, and Marcel noticed.

“Wanna switch?” He asked kindly.

“What do you have?” I asked cautiously.

“I have peanut butter, a brownie, and Oreos.” My mouth was already watering. “What do you have?” He asked. I held up my salami sandwich, and he grinned. “My favorite!” He handed me his peanut butter sandwich, and I tossed him the salami. We finished eating, and walked out to our next class, laughing over something Marcel said.

I got through the rest of the day with Marcel by my side. Turns out that he was in most of my classes. We were walking to get our things because we had stayed after for a talk with our math teacher about Marcel tutoring me, when suddenly there was loud screech down the hall. Marcel and I hid behind a locker, just in time to see the jock that tripped Marcel push another boy into a trash can further down the hall.

“That’ll teach you to mess with my girl!” He bellowed, then ran off with his friends. I was about to go out and help him, but Marcel put his hand on my shoulder. ‘Wait a minute to make sure they’re gone…’ he mouthed. I nodded. The boy was kicking his red skinny-jeaned legs frantically.

“Help?” He called weakly. “Is anyone there?” His voice sounds tinny and high. Probably because he’s stuck in a trash can.  Marcel and I walked out there.

“Hey, are you okay?” I asked.

“Yeah, I hide in a trash can everyday around this time, don’t worry.” His sarcasm reached me, and I grinned.

“Okay, then. I was gonna get you out, but if you’ve got it covered…” I began. Marcel shoved my shoulder. ‘be nice…’ he mouthed. I rolled my eyes.

“No, wait! Don’t go, please!!!!!” The boy kicked his legs again. “Please get me out of this?” I motioned to Marcel, and we both grabbed his legs and pull. He came out of the trash and sat on the floor, pulling a banana peel out of his shaggy brown hair. “Thanks,” he said. Wow, that was his real voice… I realized. He hoisted himself up. “I’m Louis Tomlinson,” he said.

“Annie Jenkins.” I shook his hand. He nods at Marcel.

“Hey, Hazzah, what's up?” Marcel shook his head.

“Not much, Lou.”

“Wait, Hazzah?” I asked.

“Yes, my middle name is Harold, which can be shortened to Harry, which Lou shortened further to Hazzah.”

“You two are friends?” I asked.

“’Friends’ is a strong word…” Marcel said. Louis pushed him.

“We’re friends, but we have different lunch times and barely any classes together, so we barely hang out other than after school. Haz here is just embarrassed in front of me because I’m loud.”

“What did you do to Jack this time?” Marcel asked.

“Nothing!” Louis whined. “All I did was talk to Eleanor because she looked like she was crying! I was trying to cheer her up, so I asked her to come to my locker to show her pictures of Kevin, and then Jack saw and threw a hissy fit!”

“Kevin?” I asked, completely lost.

“Kevin is my pet homing pigeon.”  Louis said with pride. “He’s really smart—I once let him go in London and he found his way home.” I nodded.

“Cough, cough…nerd…cough, cough…” Marcel coughed. Louis shoved him.

“Says the kid who is wearing tape between his frames.”

 Marcel sighed. “Thank you, Louis. Now Annie knows what a freak I am. My best friend’s best friend is a pigeon; is very loud; and has a weird fascination with striped shirts.”

“That has to do with my internal wish to be a zebra.” Louis informed me.  I bit back a grin.

“That’s not weird at all, Marcel.” I played with the edge of my ponytail. “Hey, I gotta get home. I’ll see you boys tomorrow, okay?”

“Bye, Annie!” Louis waved. Marcel surged forward.

“Um, Annie, I was wondering…do you have a phone?”

“Yeah, do you want my number?”

“Um, yeah! Yeah, that’ll be great!” I dug into my pocket and handed Marcel my phone. He tapped out his number, and I took the phone back.

“See you guys later!”

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